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Terpstra thrives in heat and altitude to take Vallnord MTB World Cup win

Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing) put in a dominant performance in Vallnord to win the hot and dusty Mountain Bike World Cup round, repeating her 2019 victory in Andorra, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat the bad-luck-stricken Rebecca McConnell  (Primaflor Mondraker Genuins) to the series lead.

McConnell’s 21st place after two punctures was still enough to put her back at the top of the overall leaderboard, moving ahead of an absent Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV). Terpstra also leapfrogged the French champion to slot into second in the series.

On Sunday's high altitude race at Vallnord – around 2000m – Terpstra built a strong gap early. The Dutch rider was initially holding off the chase of McConnell, short track winner Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon) and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Absolut-Absalon-BMC) but while the composition of the pursuers behind Terpstra changed as the race continued, her dominant position didn’t. 

"I think this course and the altitude must suit me really well," said Terpstra. "I like it when it’s hot, I like it when its dusty and I love the technical parts here, so I guess it just something that suits my kind of riding.”

Mona Mitterwallner (Cannondale Factory Racing Team) was in the end the only rider who even got close to looking like a potential threat to Terpstra. The first year elite rider, who last year took a clean sweep of the U23 World Cup series, relentlessly pushed the pace, both on the technical descents and hot climbs, and moved up the field in the scorching conditions to take second, 57 seconds behind Terpstra. It is the 20-year-old’s best result so far in the elite ranks.

It was a first ever elite World Cup podium for Ramona Forchini (jb Brunex Superior Factory Racing) in third, Laura Stigger (Specialized Factory Racing), who started aggressively, came fourth and Terpstra’s Ghost Factory Racing teammate Caroline Bohé was fifth.

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Production editor

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.

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